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Lion Drawing

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If you want to know how to draw a lion, you’re in good company. Lion Drawings, paintings and sculptures of lions have been found in the ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, Indian and Chinese cultures. With the gallery of photos we’ve collected, a little information, and a lot of observation, your lion drawing will roar to life.

Lion Drawing - How to Draw a Lion

Lions are carnivores, which means they are meat-eaters, and have special scissor-sharp teeth to tear through flesh. We have all seen nature shows where a single lion takes down a zebra or antelope, but did you know that sometimes the lionesses cooperate in a team to stalk and herd their prey to an area with no escape route? Lions regularly take down healthy, adult prey weighing over 550 pounds. This aggressive, fearless style of hunting is why many cultures call the lion the “King of the Beasts.”

Drawing your lion begins with observation. Note the following characteristics of an adult lion: The lithe, muscular body; the wide chest; the short and powerful jaws; the long tail used for balance. Male lions are between 30-50 percent larger than the females, and at just over two years old begin growing the characteristic mane. Over the next 3 years, the mane will thicken and darken in color. Lions have golden eyes with dark outlines, outlined further with white fur. Notice in the photos we’ve assembled for you that lions have similar expressions and sitting postures to your common house cat! Although I hope your kitty doesn’t consume over 40 pounds of raw meat at one sitting!

One of my favorite parts of lions is a feature you can’t draw—their roar! When I was in college, our mascot was a lion named Leo. He loved to wake up the whole campus with his vocalizations! One morning I complained to my instructor about the nighttime roaring, and he said, “Oh, Leo isn’t roaring—he’s just snarling and grunting because he’s hungry. If he were to break loose and roar the windows would shake!” According to The Encyclopedia of Mammals, roaring lions can be heard up to five miles away. Lions roar to keep track of each other in a hunting territory, and male lions roar while patrolling to reassure the lionesses and their cubs that the area is secure.

Whether enjoying a nap on the African plain, stalking a gazelle, or caring for cubs, drawing a lion will increase your appreciation for this beautiful and fierce animal. ~ Andrea Thoenes

Now let's get started with the Lion Drawing
step by step drawing tutorial.

Lion Drawing - How to Draw a Lion

Let's begin by looking at our reference picture of a lion and comparing it to the final drawing. You may notice that the drawign is not an exact copy of a the photograph. In some areas I have simplified the lion and I also made the eye larger for emphasis. A drawing also shows the style of the artist. So do not worry if your drawing does no look exactly like this one. I studied the reference image carefully and sketched this lion a couple of times before attempting this drawing lesson. Each attempt teaches you more about what you are looking at.

Click Image to Enlarge:

Lion Drawing - How to Draw a Lion: Reference Lion Photo by Clarita

Lion Drawing - How to Draw a Lion

How to Draw a Lion Step 1
It is important that you study your drawing reference, so I have included it alongside each drawing step. Begin by blocking in the chin and face are with a rectangular shape.

Lion Drawing Step 1 - How to Draw a Lion
How to Draw a Lion Step 2
Using the rectangular shape as a base, sketch the nose shape, eyebrow an eye socket and also indicate the chin line. Follow the chin all the way down to the mane on the neck.
Lion Drawing Step 2 - How to Draw a Lion
How to Draw a Lion Step 3
Add the mouth, draw the eye, place the ear and sketch in the large clumps of fur of the mane.
Lion Drawing Step 3 - How to Draw a Lion

How to Draw a Lion Step 4
Refine the facial features. Remember to look at your reference often. Since the head is turned slightly towards us, add the brow of the right eye and the curve of the right side of the mouth. Also add more blocks of fur in the mane.

Lion Drawing Step 4 - How to Draw a Lion

How to Draw a Lion Step 5
If you are drawing on the computer, set up a layer to lighten your drawing. If you are using pencil, lighten your sketch with a kneaded eraser. Alternately, you could use tracing paper forth next step, a light table or even a window to back light your sketch.

Lion Drawing Step 5 - How to Draw a Lion

How to Draw a Lion Step 6
Begin inking your sketch. Check your reference often and make short strokes with your pen to indicate the direction of the fur as best as you can.

Lion Drawing Step 6 - How to Draw a Lion
How to Draw a Lion Step 7
continue by inking the chin and mane, also ink the eye.
Lion Drawing Step 7 - How to Draw a Lion

How to Draw a Lion Step 8
Ink the snout, whiskers, and the fur at the top of the head.

Lion Drawing Step 8 - How to Draw a Lion

How to Draw a Lion Step 9
Now concentrate your efforts on forming the ear with fur and inking the mane. Draw in the direction of the fur and draw in the dark areas rather than the light areas.

Lion Drawing Step 9 - How to Draw a Lion
How to Draw a Lion Step 10
Darken the inside of the ear, darken and refine the rest of the mane and make touch ups the face
Lion Drawing Step 10 - How to Draw a Lion

How to Draw a Lion Step 11
Below is the completed drawing.

Lion Drawing Step 11 - How to Draw a Lion
Congratulations you have finished this online art lesson,
"Lion Drawing - How to Draw a Lion!"

Smart Links for Lion Drawing

Learn more about lions at Wikipedia

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